Today I’m mostly drinking coffee and getting stared at in my permissive pub car park. The thing these guys don’t seem to understand is that I have permission to be here. They don’t but I get stared at nonetheless. “He should be at home” I hear them exclaim loudly. Loudly enough for me to obviously hear, hoping I’d pack my shit up and run away “home”.
But the jokes on them really. They have to go home to their bills and their 4 bedroomed chore list and their grass cutting and their 12 hour days of work to pay for it all. That’s their choice though and I respect that. I just wish they’d respect my choice. Or at least proffer up a few questions after a cheery hello. They will get a cheery hiya back and all the answers they require to satisfy their apparently insatiable lust for “finding something to moan about”.
This morning, a car came in the carpark and turned around. I was left stood with two cups of coffee and a lonely face. I wasn’t, I’m joking of course. I’m not lonely. I like my own company most of the time, other times I even get on my own nerves so much I give my arsehole a headache! But I could have done with a little company as I sat here and watched all the family and friends meeting up for a pre Sunday roast walk, slightly envious. Id go for a walk myself but I’d only be disappointed when I got back to no Sunday roast. No medium rare Easter Sunday lamb and all the trimmings. The daft thing is, I’m not doing any harm at all. Just sat here reading quietly on my own. Not mingling with anyone nor coming into contact with a single soul. It’s because I don’t fit into their lives and in their mind I shouldn’t be doing it.
It’s a weird feeling to know that all I own in the world is right here in my van. But it’s also weird to know that it’s all I need! 3 years ago I had a four double bedroom 3 bathroom 4 toileted detached house crammed to the rafters with crap. What did I need all that crap for I wonder now. Purely just to fill the house I reckon so it didn’t look so sparse and vast. I have two plastic boxes of clothes, one of which I haven’t even opened since I embarked on this journey. One pair of trainers (with a melted insole) one pair of hiking boots (which I live in) and a pair of work boots (which I don’t live in). I also have two boxes of cycling kit. A Traeger Ranger portable pellet grill, and a few other things. That’s all I need really. Of course I have the little luxury items like cutlery and plates and a mug etc, a vast selection of tools for just in case and some camping gear for when I go backpacking. But my lust for twelve saucepans of varying sizes and two wardrobes full of clothes and a kitchen crammed with mixers, coffee machines, bread makers and the like has been negated by my new sparse life. Clutter free.
This afternoon, by now used to the undertoned remarks and glares from Mr and Mrs Mercedes and Mr Range Rover and his three Labrador’s, I didn’t feel envious. Or lonely. The sunshine is pumping me full of Vitamin D and my brain is buzzing with a good feeling and the glorious summer will soon be here when I can pull onto a campsite and blend in every now and then. I’ll be able to shower at the vans back doors (most likely use the on-site ones but you know, sounds good) the sun will be pumping the solar panels harder than a teenager left alone with a copy of Littlewoods catalogue and a sticky lingerie section and the air will be filled with the sounds of people enjoying themselves, not moaning.
When the majority of this lot have gone back to their own lives, I shall crack the Traeger out I think and smoke me some sausage and bacon, kick back and let the world hear my smile! Kerry said to me on the phone that she could hear my smile and it made my smile even louder! I love that phrase, it makes me smile. Loudly!
Today made me realise, I’m not lonely. I’m at peace. I’m at peace with myself and the world around me. You do you, and I’ll do me. If you see a van dweller parked up in the corner of a car park go and say hi! Watch their face light up and just spend five minutes of your day listening to their story. You’ll see that they’re at peace too and you may even get offered a brew!
The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.